How Quentin Tarantino created the film that launched his career and redefined movies in the 1990s:
"Just seven years earlier, in 1986, Tarantino was a 23-year-old part-time actor and high-school dropout, broke, without an apartment of his own, showering rarely. With no agent, he sent out scripts that never got past low-level readers. 'Too vile, too vulgar, too violent' was the usual reaction, he later said. According to Quentin Tarantino, by Wensley Clarkson, his constant use of the f-word in his script True Romance caused one studio rep to write to Cathryn Jaymes, his early manager:
"Dear Fucking Cathryn,
"How dare you send me this fucking piece of shit. You must be out of your fucking mind. You want to know how I feel about it? Here’s your fucking piece of shit back. Fuck you."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 13, 2013
LENGTH: 35 minutes (8936 words)
Whitney Houston was destined to become as revered as her godmother, Aretha Franklin, before drugs and a toxic marriage caused her to hit rock bottom. A look at the pop icon's rise and fall, and her final days, when it looked like Houston was going to make a comeback:
"[Clive Davis] enlisted Diane Warren to create songs for a new album. Warren tells me that she put herself in Houston’s mind when she wrote a song about struggle and rebirth, entitled 'I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.' As soon as Whitney heard the lyrics—'I thought I’d never make it through, I had no hope to hold on to I was not meant to break'—she told Warren that she’d written her life.
"But Warren and David Foster weren’t sure that Whitney had the vocal strength to sing it. In the end, she not only sang it, says Warren, 'she sang the shit out of it.' According to Gary Catona, 75 percent of Whitney’s vocal strength had returned by the time of her appearance at the American Music Awards in November 2009. When she came onstage in a white gown, singing the Warren song, the crowd leapt to its feet. 'The buzz was: Holy shit!' says Warren. 'It was one of the best performances I’d ever seen. It was: Whitney is back!'"
PUBLISHED: May 16, 2012
LENGTH: 36 minutes (9017 words)
When he entered the magnificent Gothic church in early 1992, the former Christopher Crowe had a new name and a meticulously researched persona to go with it. "Hello," he greeted his fellow worshippers in his perfectly enunciated East Coast prep-school accent, wearing a blue blazer and private-club necktie, which he would usually accent with khaki pants embroidered with tiny ducks, hounds or bumblebees, worn always with Top-Sider boat shoes, without socks. "Clark," he said, "Clark Rockefeller."
PUBLISHED: May 26, 2011
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5592 words)
Even before CBS 48 Hours Mystery producer Joe Halderman allegedly caught David Letterman kissing his girlfriend, Late Show staffer Stephanie Birkitt, the cash-strapped veteran newsman and the multi-millionaire entertainment star were on a collision course.
PUBLISHED: April 1, 2010
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5907 words)
With the cosmopolitan magic that had launched his father’s fabled Harry’s Bar in Venice a half-century earlier, restaurateur Arrigo Cipriani swooped in to conquer New York café society in 1985, then left his dashing son, Giuseppe, to build a citywide nightlife empire.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 1, 2009
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4485 words)
Pioneering animal prints on everything from leather to lamé, then putting Lycra in jeans, Roberto Cavalli made fashion ferociously sexy and fun, both for his celebrity clients (Beyoncé, Bono, the Beckhams, et al.) and for himself.
PUBLISHED: Aug. 24, 2009
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4883 words)